Staff List


Beth Larson
VM 303-982-7913

I have worked in Jeffco since 2000, teaching 3rd, 5th, and 6th grade. I was an assistant principal for 3 years and a principal for the last 5 years. I am thrilled to be the principal of Rooney Ranch! I grew up in the Chicago area and have been in Colorado since 1994. My husband and I have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. They have all gone through Jeffco schools. I am a huge lacrosse fan! Three of my children played in college. I love being outdoors. On the weekends I try to go mountain biking, hiking, or skiing. I feel fortunate to live in our wonderful state.
  Assistant Principal
DeAnn Hoffman
VM ____
Principal's Secretary
Carrie Jark
VM 303-982-9597
I have worked at Rooney Ranch since August, 2006 and have been the Principal's Secretary since August, 2007.  I love working with our wonderful staff and all of the families that have been at Rooney over the years - they are the best!!  I enjoy travelling with my three sons (who all went to Rooney) and my daughter-in-law.  I spent a few days in Glacier National Park and Yellowstone this summer - amazing!!  I also love to walk with my Golden Retriever, read a good book or watch a movie in my spare time.
Attendance Secretary
Debbie Gonzales
VM 303-982-9603
I have been so fortunate to have been at Rooney Ranch since it opened in 1994.  I have been blessed this year with a beautiful grandson, Noah Robert, he was born on March 5, 2015!  I can not tell you what a joy it is to be a grandmother!  I love being with the loves my life, my beloved husband Bob and my children, Nicole, Dan, Joe and Jess.  I enjoy early morning walks, being with my family in Pueblo and having the greatest friends who are my family my co-workers at Rooney Ranch!

Health Aide 
pending hire

Natalie Schiele
VM 303-982-7355

This is my 6th year at Rooney and 17th year in education. As a Green Mountain grad, I feel very fortunate to come back to the area I grew up in. In addition to my role as digital teacher-librarian at Rooney, I am also on the district Library Leadership team and the Elementary Book Review Committee.
I'm a Rooney parent of a 1st grader and I also have a four-year-old. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, gardening, learning new technology, reading a good book, or watching a few of my favorite television series with my husband.

 Oryshchyn Specials-Art
Bo Oryshchyn
VM 303-982-8308 
I have been teaching Art in Jeffco for 21 years.  This is my 7th year at Rooney and I am very happy to be here!  I am married and have two daughters, one in 7th grade and one in middle school.  In my free time I enjoy the outdoors and love hiking 14ers with my wife.
  Specials- Music
Kelsey Skiles
Joel Halliwell
VM 303-982-7846
 I am a transplant from the East coast.  Having grown up in the small town of Noank, Connecticut, I moved to Colorado in 1992.  I began teaching in 1993 at Mount St. Vincent Home in Denver for a few years before becoming a Jefferson County teacher at Leawood Elementary School.  I taught there for six years before coming over to Rooney Ranch Elementary.  I have now been at Rooney for 13 years and love every day, as every day offers so many different opportunities. I have also been a softball and baseball coach at D’Evelyn High School since 1995.  Coaching gives me the opportunity to work with both elementary and high school students.  I continue to learn new teaching techniques on a daily basis. I love being at Rooney Ranch with all the students and staff that have made my teaching career such a wonderful experience. 
 Mattes Psychologist
Chris Mattes
VM 303-982-0913
I have been at Rooney Ranch for 7 years, and this being my 12th year in Jeffco. Before I was a school psychologist, I worked as a commercial photographer in the Denver area. Currently, my family is very school-oriented; my wife is a middle school teacher, my oldest son is in college and my youngest son is in high school. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, skiing, fishing, and flying in my hot air balloon, Skywalker. 
  SERS- Full time 
Kelly Phillips
VM 303-982-9380
 Demers SERS- Part-time
Shawn Demers
VM 303-982-8063

I'm very excited to be joining the Rooney Ranch team this year!  I will be joining the SERS Team in supporting the students and staff at this amazing school.  

Not only have I spent my entire career here in Jeffco, I also grew up here, going to Leawood Elementary, Ken Caryl Middle School and Columbine High School.  In my spare time I enjoy mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking and spending time with family and friends.  I've recently purchased a home in Green Mountain and am currently experiencing the joys and frustrations of fixing up an older home. I'm thrilled to be a part of the Rooney Ranch community!

 Billingsley Speech Therapy
Amy Billingsley
VM 303-216-6049
I have been a Speech Language Pathologist for 16 years and this will be my 4th year at Rooney Ranch.  Yippee!  I love working with kids because they make such amazing growth in a short amount of time.  I am married and have 2 children, Reese (10) and Jack (7).  We love to enjoy everything outdoors and go up to the mountains as often as we can.  When we don't have soccer and lacrosse games we spend our free time skiing, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and camping in our wonderful Colorado mountains.
Jeni Barton
VM 303-982-8055
I am excited to join Rooney Ranch this year and the kindergarten team. I am originally from Casper, Wyoming but have lived in Montana and Arizona as well. This will be my fifth year teaching and I have a Masters in Education from Regis University. Prior to teaching, I worked in health care as an exercise physiologist in cardiac rehab and diabetes education for nearly 10 years. I have two beautiful girls ages 11 and 13 and we spend most our weekends on a soccer field. My passions include hiking, reading, and spending time with my family. We have two dogs, Winnie, who is our 115 pound St. Bernard/Great Pyrenees mix, and Chili, who is our 6 pound poodle/maltese mix. I am looking forward to a great year with a wonderful group of students! 
Jennifer Cook
VM 303-982-2861
I grew up in Arvada and am a Jefferson County Public School graduate. I have been lucky enough to have taught for 24 years. This is my thirteenth year at Rooney Ranch. I have 2 fabulous children. My son Robinson is a fourth grader and my daughter Addison is a first grader. My husband also teaches kindergarten. We have a black lab named Mika. My favorite team is the Broncos!!!
Kelly Fox
VM 303-982-9615
I am excited to start my 3rd year here at Rooney Ranch Elementary and my 2nd year in Kindergarten. I completed my Masters in Education in June of 2014 from the University of Denver. I received my initial Colorado teaching license in the summer of 2013, and student taught in the Denver Public School District during the 2012-2013 school year. Teaching is my 2nd career after a successful 10 years in the non-profit industry.
I was raised in Littleton, Colorado and attended Jeffco Schools graduating from Chatfield Senior High. I currently live in the Ken Caryl area with my husband, four sons and step-daughter. When I am not in the classroom I love to go camping or skiing with my family and spend time with friends.
Quinn  Kindergarten
Beth Quinn
 I am beyond thrilled to be a teacher at Rooney Ranch Elementary!  I have been a Jeffco teacher since 2002 – spending my years at Little and Red Rocks Elementary Schools before ending up here.  Kyle and I have been married for over 13 years.  We have 3 daughters that also go to Rooney…Devon is in 5, Izze is in 4, and Brooklyn is in 1st.  I “love” to run….so you might see me out & about hitting the pavement.  Besides running, I love to hike with my family, swim, travel, and have dance parties!
1st Grade
Juliana Felten
VM 303-982-9433
It is my third year teaching and first year in 1st Grade. I am so lucky to be at Rooney Ranch! I graduated with my BA in Behavioral Science with a minor in Elementary Education from Metropolitan State College of Denver. I hope to pursue my masters degree in the near future. 

My husband and I love traveling, being outdoors and spending time with our two dogs, Aspen and Nala. I am also passionate about photography and love to read.

1st Grade
Kathleen Scott
VM 303-982-9605
I have been a teacher at Rooney Ranch for 21 years.   I am married with two children. I enjoy riding bikes with my family, attending my children's sporting events, and going to different places on vacation in the summer.
1st Grade
Jennifer Swaim
VM 303-982-9538
I am a Jeffco Public Schools graduate. I grew up in the Green Mountain area and attended Hutchinson, Dunstan and Green Mountain. I then went to University of Northern Colorado for my undergraduate and University of Phoenix for my graduate degree. I have been teaching at Rooney Ranch for eight years. I love everything about Rooney Ranch; it's a great place to be! I am super excited to be in 1st grade this year with all my amazing kiddos from kindergarten! When I am not teaching, I love spending time with my family, my two adorable nephews, friends, my black lab Koko and my cat Gizmo, cooking, working out, reading, traveling, basketball, and enjoying all the amazing things Colorado has to offer! 
2nd Grade
Amy Eikermann
I am so excited to be teaching 2nd grade this year!  I started my career as an elementary school teacher and then stayed home for 8 years with my 3 children - Will and Isabel, who are 15, and Henry who is 13 (all Rooney Ranch grads!)  I then came to work at Rooney Ranch as a Para 8 years ago. I had been thinking about getting back in the classroom for awhile and finally decided to do it and here I am!  I am thrilled and am looking forward to a wonderful year! 
2nd Grade
Ann Lee
VM 303-982-8323
I was born and raised in Alabama. We are huge Crimson Tide fans. I lived in Georgia five years before coming to Colorado. This is my fourth year in Colorado. This is also my 22nd year of teaching. I have taught first, second, third, fifth and sixth grade. 

My family enjoys spending time together. We have two dogs and one cat. I am also a licensed dog groomer. I make some of my own jewelry. Music is a big part of our lives. I love working in the yard and shopping.

2nd Grade
Billie Jo Oakley
VM 303-982-9585
I've been a teacher at Rooney Ranch Elementary for seventeen years (currently starting my 18th year!).  I feel very fortunate that I've been at Rooney Ranch for my entire teaching career.  Because of this, I can honestly say that the Rooney community (both staff and families who have attended our school) are like family to me.  I'm truly lucky to have had the chance to work in such a supportive community.  When I'm not teaching, I love spending lots of time with my sweet Italian greyhound/rat terrier dog, Cammi.  She and I go on long walks and hikes as often as we can.  In addition to spending time with my pup, I love spending time with my family and friends.
2nd Grade
Kim O'Byrne
VM 303-982-9380
This is my 22nd teaching and my 4th year at Rooney.  I have taught pre-k—2nd grade in Houston, Englewood, and Jefferson County.  I am married to a very supportive husband, John, and we have two beautiful daughters:  Kalyn is 18 and Heidi is 14.  I am a Colorado native and I love spending time with my family skiing, golfing and traveling.   I am thrilled to be a part of the wonderful Rooney community; this truly is the best place to work and learn.
3rd Grade
Laura Kendall
VM 303-982-6396
I am proud to be a Rooney Ranch Mountain Lion and beyond grateful to have the opportunity to work in such a wonderful community!  I am a Colorado native, growing up in Evergreen and graduating from Clear Creek High School before earning my BA in English and Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado.  My career path after college lead me into the ski industry for many years and finally brought me back to the classroom in 2008. I am thrilled to be teaching 3rd grade again this year and beginning my fifth year at Rooney Ranch.  I have a fun-loving and supportive family including my husband Jeff, son Taylor (13) and daughter, Katie Bea (10).  We are passionate skiers, enjoy running and eating sushi, and love to load up our paddle boards for time on the lake. 
3rd Grade
Jordan McMaster
I am a proud Jefferson county graduate! I graduated from Lakewood High School. From there I attended the University of Northern Colorado , where I earned a degree in Elementary Education, with a special education minor and English as a second language endorsement. This is my second year of teaching and my first year at Rooney Ranch. Last year I taught 4th grade at Westridge Elementary in Littleton.  When I am not at school I enjoy hiking and exploring with my boyfriend and our new baby, a German shepherd lab mix puppy we rescued this summer. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family and enjoying the great outdoors this amazing state has to offer!  I feel so incredibly lucky to be teaching alongside so many amazing teachers at such an amazing school! 

3rd Grade
A.J. Brown
VM 303-982-9560 
This is my eighth year here at Rooney, and I am so grateful to be here. I am married with two little furry, four legged kids, Maverick and Cooper. Our family will be expanding in December with our first non furry and two legged child. We are super excited about the big change.

I spend most of my free time remodeling our house, playing frisbee with Maverick, and watching the Broncos.

3rd Grade
Vanessa Metskas

4th Grade
Desiree Amato
I have been a teacher at Rooney Ranch for the past 12 years.  I have taught Kindergarten, 3rd grade and 4th grade.  I feel so blessed to be at such an amazing school with an incredibly talented and supportive staff.  I am a Colorado native and graduated from Bear Creek High School.  I have a BA in Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver.  In my free time I love to travel, go to sporting events, read and workout.  I also enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my dog Daisy.
Helfer 4th Grade
Caitlin Helfer
VM 303-982-9438
This is my third year teaching first grade at Rooney Ranch. I love first grade and am very thankful to be at such a wonderful school. I got married over the summer and am now Mrs. Helfer (formerly Ms. Garnett). We live in the mountains on three beautiful acres with our two dogs. We love going hiking, camping and riding dirt bikes together.

4th Grade
Michelle Williams


4th Grade
Al Lago, Jr.
VM 303-982-9573
I was born and raised in Colorado and went to the following Jefferson County Public Schools: Westgate Elementary, Carmody Junior High, and Bear Creek High School. Going to these schools and being a long time Jefferson County resident motivated me to become a teacher and to work in the Jefferson County School District. I completed my undergraduate work, teacher certification, and master’s work at the University of Colorado at Denver. 

5th Grade
Trista Morrell 
VM 303-982-9588

I absolutely LOVE being a teacher here at Rooney Ranch! This is my fourth year teaching at Rooney and my sixth year teaching 3rd grade. I have taught in Englewood and Douglas County school districts before coming to Jeffco. When I am not teaching and learning from my fabulous 3rd graders, I enjoy time the most when spent with family. I have a wonderful daughter and she is a 3rd grader this year at Rooney. We love to travel, spend time in the mountains as well as going on long walks on the Bear Creek trail with our 10 year old Yorkshire Terrier, Riley. I feel so blessed to be at Rooney and I am so grateful for the family unity and the fantastic people that I get to see every day!!!

5th Grade
Vicky Maher
VM ---

  5th Grade 
Nick Sontag
VM 303-982-9626
This will be my eighth year teaching at Rooney Ranch and I think it will be the best one yet! I feel very fortunate to be a part of this school community and truly enjoy helping students develop their skills and abilities. Beyond the classroom, our family loves to be outdoors. My favorite pastimes are mountain biking with my son, skate skiing with our dog, Goose, and losing spirited debates about interior design with my wife
6th Grade
Nate Mueller
VM 303-982-9719

This is my fourth year teaching and am overjoyed to be spending it back at Rooney Ranch.  I grew up in Michigan, but moved out to this fine state in 2008 and attended college at UNC.  In my spare time I enjoy hiking, swimming, drumming, and playing the ukulele.
6th Grade
Debbie Taylor
VM 303-982-0588
My name is Mrs. Taylor and this is my third year here at Rooney Ranch Elementary.  Rooney was my first place of teaching in 2008, when I completed my student teaching practices (with Mrs. Nicholas), so my heart never left this great place!! I have been teaching in the Jeffco School District for 8 years and have been so very lucky to work at many great schools in our district.  I am married and am a mother to 2 boys, Colton and Weston, and 1 furry son, Chase.  I love to spend time with my family and spend time outdoors, especially during the ski season!!  I enjoy trying new things and even have an adventurous side to me.   I’ve skydived, climbed 14ners, and traveled to some wonderful destinations!  I am a huge Denver Bronco fan and Texas Longhorns fan, Texas being my native state! I am so excited to be teaching this year here at Rooney Ranch and know that this year will be the best yet!! 
6th Grade
Emily Van Duerm
VM 303-982-9368
I couldn't be more excited to spend another year at Rooney Ranch--I think this will be the best year ever! My name is Emily Van Duerm, and  I have been teaching intermediate grades since 2009.  I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and moved to Colorado in 2012.  I live with my husband, our sweet dog Daisy and two mischievous cats.   When I'm not teaching, I love to travel, cook, read, spend time hiking outdoors, and am always looking to find a new pizza place! I am currently pursuing my masters degree in CLDE through Regis University.  
Para Pro
Barb Armstrong
I have been with Rooney since it opened in 1994 and have loved getting to know the kids and watching them grow.  I am married and have two wonderful boys.  I enjoy riding my bike, hiking and just being outside.  When the weather is cold I like to embroider and quilt. 
Para Pro
Brenda Artley
Rooney Ranch is looking like my second home. All three of our daughters attended Rooney, so I have been here for 13 consecutive years as a parent and volunteer. For the past 3 years, I have been working here as a para-professional, and occasionally as a substitute teacher when needed. I was born and raised in Dallas, TX. While I still cheer for the Cowboys, the Broncos are my #1 team! I earned my teaching degree at Texas A&M University, where I met my husband, Craig. After graduating we moved to Colorado. I worked as a substitute teacher in Jeffco for several years, and I taught kindergarten at Hutchinson for one. We have two daughters in college and an 8th grade daughter at Dunstan Middle School. We are active with the Green Mountain HS Marching Band, though we are enjoying a couple relaxed fall seasons before our youngest enters high school. As an animal lover, I have three rescued dogs (2 beagles and a Chihuahua) and a sun conure.  I enjoy hiking, gardening, traveling, reading, music, football, and teaching.  I have the perfect job!
Para Pro
Pam Banks

I have three wonderful children, all alumni of Rooney Ranch Elementary. I have worked at Rooney for almost 17 years. My current job assignment is clerical for the school and I do 4th grade recess and lunch. I also help oversee the Watch D.O.G.S program.
Para Pro
Annie Bitsie

This is my 10th year as a Kindergarten Para at Rooney Ranch.  I've been a member of the Rooney Ranch family since 1999, having 3 children who all attended school here.  My oldest daughter is now a 4th grade teacher in Ft. Collins and was highly influenced by the amazing teachers she had here as a student!  My middle daughter is a freshman at University of Arizona. When I'm not working here, I can be found cheering on my son, a sophomore at Lakewood HS, at his Baseball and Ultimate Frisbee games, working out up at Red Rocks or advocating for strong public education here in Jeffco.  

I was honored this past spring to receive the Education Support Professional of the Year Award for the state of Colorado. Our students, who are my number one priority, the Rooney Ranch community and the amazing teachers who I've been blessed to work alongside are why I love my job and feel so passionately about the work that I do.

This is pretty much my dream job - I love coming to work everyday here and helping these wonderful children learn!

Para Pro
Bernadette Castro
Kindergarten- Barton
I have been a Para at Rooney Ranch for 9 years and I love the community and staff.This is my third year working in Kindergarten and I love the little ones. I am married and have two daughters who both went through Rooney Ranch Elementary.
Para Pro
Mandi Graw
Originally from the Chicago area, I moved to Colorado in 1998 and I love it here! I have a Bachelors degree in Social Work and worked as a therapist specializing in at-risk youth and their families. I went back to school, obtained my Masters degree in Human Resource Management and worked in HR for 10 years.

I love running, coaching Girls on the Run, skiing and spending time with my family. This is my second year at Rooney and I am honored to be working with such an amazing staff!

Para Pro
Paula Main
Library/5th & 6th grade
I have been a Para at Rooney Ranch for 12 years. I have been married for 32 years and have a son and two daughters. We also have a German Shepherd and two cats. In my free time I like to read or watch movies.
Para Pro
Nancy McElroy
Kindergarten- Fox

   Para Pro
Becky Petro
Para Ed
Holly Sherrill

I have been working at Rooney Ranch for four years. I have a daughter in college and a son in sixth grade. In my spare time I like to read and watch sports (mostly my children). I feel very blessed to be working here, and I absolutely love my job! 
Para Pro
Wendy Smith
This is my fifth consecutive year serving at Rooney Ranch, the first three years as a parent volunteer, and now as a second year para-professional. I am a mom of two wonderful, smart daughters, both of whom attend Rooney Ranch, in 3rd and 4th grades. I spend much of my time supporting my girls in their many endeavors including soccer, gymnastics, Girls on the Run, tennis and academic activities. Originally from Texas, I have lived in Colorado for 11 years. I have an undergrad degree in pyschology and a masters in International Business. In my free time, I like to keep active by hiking and biking, gymnastics, yoga and Crossfit. I am passionate and dedicated when it comes to working with, and teaching, the wonderful kiddos here at Rooney Ranch.
Para Ed
Fenna Vogels


Para Pro
Heidi Willcox

I was welcomed into the Rooney Family last March so this is my first full year working with the kiddos! I work as a support para educator in Special Education with 4th and 6th graders. I am so lucky to be a part of this amazing family of educators. Before coming to work at Rooney Ranch I was a paraprofessional at Arvada High School for 2 1/2 years in the library, which I loved as well. I came to Colorado in 1992 for the summer and never left. My husband and I and our 3 boys,14,11, and 9, live in Arvada. I am an east coast girl, GO VERMONT! When I'm not making sure that Rooney kids are having an AMAZING DAY, I love to support my kids in their sporting and music endeavors, go hiking and biking, ski, bake, knit, work in the gardens, read, and play ANY board game! Winter is my favorite season! Rooney Ranch makes me smile every day.

Facility Manager
Mark Everman
VM 303-982-9598

Ramo Plivac
Belle Mouskos
  Kitchen Manager
Jennifer Douglas
Anne Reese
I have been in food service for 8 years. I think Rooney Ranch is a wonderful school and community. I am married and have 2 grown sons and one grandson whom I adore.

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